Good morning, Chicago.
The Chicago Tribune’s annual dining awards are back, and (if you’ll pardon the hubris) better than ever.
For our 2023 Critics’ Choice Food Awards, what stood out the most wasn’t necessarily the foods or drinks themselves (although, don’t get us wrong, those are decidedly award-worthy all on their own) but the spirit of the people who make that magic happen, day in and day out. In a grueling industry still finding its way through the pandemic, their stories stay with us, long after the last bite of the night.
Read up on our picks, and then it’s your turn: Nominations for the Readers’ Choice Awards open today, and we want to know your favorite diner, sweet treat, late-night haunt and more. Submit your nominees, then check back March 17 to see if they’ve made it to the final round of voting. Readers can vote online daily from March 17-31 and help their favorites best the competition.
Here are the top stories you need to know to start your day.
The U.S. Department of Education has opened a civil rights investigation into a tiny Illinois school district for students with disabilities to determine whether children enrolled there have been denied an appropriate education because of the “practice of referring students to law enforcement for misbehaviors.”
The investigation was initiated Feb. 13, two months after the Tribune and ProPublica reported how the district, which operates a therapeutic day school for students with severe emotional and behavioral disabilities, turned to police to arrest students with stunning frequency.
The state requested an expedited schedule after Macon County Judge Rodney Forbes ruled that the ban, passed by the Democratic-controlled legislature and signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker in response to the mass shooting at Highland Park’s Fourth of July parade, violates the equal protection and special legislation clauses of the Illinois Constitution.
Chicago Tribune editors’ top story picks, delivered to your inbox each afternoon.
Federal investigators are opening a wide-ranging investigation into one of the nation’s biggest railroads following a fiery derailment on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border last month and several other accidents involving Norfolk Southern, including the death of a train conductor Tuesday.
Norfolk Southern’s massive rail yard expansion plan for Chicago’s South Side received City Council approval earlier this year.
Speaking publicly for the first time since Sunday’s announcement, Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Mike Clevinger called Major League Baseball’s ruling that he won’t face discipline “a weight lifted.”
MLB said in a statement Sunday that it won’t impose discipline on Clevinger after investigating allegations of domestic violence and child abuse.
Ah, the Caribbean: islands of pleasure with balmy weather, palm trees that sway in the breeze, and miles of pristine beaches fronting turquoise bays. “Forecast Form: Art in the Caribbean Diaspora, 1990s-Today,” the stunningly atmospheric and intellectually lively group show filling the fourth-floor galleries of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago through the end of April, is not about that place.
The show is not really even about a place at all but about the movement of people, commodities, money, weather, culture, power, forms and ideas, writes critic Lori Waxman.